Archive | January, 2012

Restaurant Review: BenBry Burgers, Manly

10 Jan

Have been in Sydney for nearly 11 months, but I still haven’t been to Manly yet, so I decided to go there for a walk on a sunny day. I did some research on the recommended restaurants/food in the area, and found Not So Nigella’s review on BenBry Burgers.

BenBry Burgers, Manly

This place isn’t difficult to find, just walk down the Corso towards Manly beach, and you will see the street on your left before the traffic crossing. I arrived at around 1:30pm, and there were about 8 people eating inside the restaurant, 4 people waiting outside the restaurant for their burgers. I wasn’t too sure what is their most popular burger, but I decided to get the Tropical Feast.

Tropical Feast

Tropical Feast – Prime Australian beef, streaky bacon, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, BenBry aioli, sauce tomato (AUD$10.50)

I was surprised when I opened the brown paper bag, because the burger is huge. I would say the beef patty wasn’t that thick, but it was juicy and tasty. I really like the combined flavour of the tomato sauce, avocado and aioli, the freshness of the tomatoes, lettuce and pineapple. However, after looking the description of the burger on its website, I don’t think the cheese inside the burger was that obvious. Although I love burgers with lots of cheese, this burger is still very delicious even without those melting cheese.

Environment: N/A (Not a lot of seats inside the restaurant)

Service: 7.5/10 (Waited for nearly 5 minutes until someone came out from the kitchen to serve me)

Food: 8/10 (Huge juicy burger)

Overall: It’s a bit pricey when compared to the burgers I had in the States, but I think it’s one of the best burgers I had so far in Australia. Thumbs up for the size of the burger.

Address: 5 Sydney Road, Manly, NSW 2095

Official website: http://www.benbryburgers.com.au/

I actually like Bondi beach more, because the beach is much bigger and deeper, and the sand is fine. There are a lot of stones, leaves and tiny tree branches in the sand on Manly beach, and the beach is much smaller, but I will revisit Manly again. Here are a few photos I took today:

Manly beach

Manly Beach

Walking along the coast

Walking along the coast to Shelly Beach

On the ferry back to Circular Quay

On the ferry back to Circularly Quay

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Review: Bioderma, Sensibio H20

6 Jan

I don’t really wear make-up on an everyday basis, because I’m such a lazy person, so I sometimes go out without putting any make-up nor sunscreen. When I do put make-up on, I just get a tiny bit of foundation to cover up some blemishes and redness spots on my face, apply some blush, and occasionally use mascara or eyeliner. I only put full make-up when I go to some special events, which only happens a few times a year. When I just have a bit of foundation and blush on, I don’t really use my make-up remover, because they easily come off when I use my facial cleanser to wash my face at night, and I’m just too lazy to do an extra step before I take a bath. As I don’t use make-up remover that often, I don’t feel like I need to buy those more expensive make-up removal products.

However, I really didn’t like my previous make-up remover, which is the Mandom Cleaning Express (Moist). I bought it because people have been raving about Bioderma’s Sensibio H20 and they said it’s the cheaper version of Bioderma. At first, I did think it’s okay, it doesn’t make my skin itchy, though I always feel like I need to rinse my face with water after using it. However, if you have eye make-up on, this product doesn’t do anything. I usually place the cotton pad on my eyes for a while before I wipe off my eye make-up, but it hurts my eyes every single time, and it doesn’t remove all my eye-make up!

When I went back to Hong Kong, Mannings was doing a promotion. The Bioderma Christmas Set was HKD$299, which comes with 500mL, 250mL and 100mL each. I really want to throw away my Mandom one, so I decided to buy this set and give it a try.

Bioderma Sensibio H20

I don’t have a photo of the whole set, so I can only show you the 250mL one. 

Result of using Bioderma H2O to remove my eye make-up (1st wipe)

Using Beioderma Sensibio H2O to remove Dolly Wink mascara (1st wipe: mostly removed)

I have to say I love this product so much. It doesn’t irritate my skin, my skin feels clean after using it and I don’t need to use water to rinse my face afterwards. Most importantly, it removes all my make-up, including waterproof eye-make up like Majolica Majorca mascara. I just need to place the cotton pad on my eyes for a while, and everything comes off easily.

Mandom’s products, of course, are much cheaper, I guess it costs around HK60 for 340mL. However, I don’t think you can call it as the cheaper version of Bioderma’s. Mandom’s products do not remove my eye make-up and it irritates my eyes! It’s okay to use on other parts of your face, but it doesn’t make your skin feel super clean.

I don’t like to use cleansing oil or gel-based make-up remover, I prefer water-based ones, so I guess Bioderma’s product suits me. It’s going to take me a long time to finish all 3 bottles, but I am definitely going to repurchase it when I run out of them.

P.S. I used Kiss Me Mascara today, and it took me a long time to remove it completely with Bioderma. It works really well with Majolica Majorca mascara and Dolly Wink mascara though.

New Year’s Eve 2011, Sydney

1 Jan

It’s my first time counting down in Sydney, so I decided to go out and join the crowd. I chose to watch the fireworks at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, and searched the Internet to look for some advice and suggestions.

On the day, I arrived somewhere nearby Hyde Park at around 12:30pm; the city is pretty calm, not a lot of people walking around. Even when I was walking to Art Gallery Road, there wasn’t many people, and I thought maybe it’s still a bit early. However, I was completely wrong when I saw the queue!

Long queue on New Year's Eve

These people are just part of them waiting in line to go into Mrs. Macquarie’s Point

Going up and down the little slope, I finally arrived at the security check point after 3 hours! My advice is if you are traveling with little kids or senior family members, make sure you find a spot under the shade for them to rest while someone else queue in line, prepare some food and something to entertain them too.

The weather was really nice yesterday, very sunny and not too hot. Another advice is to bring sunscreen with you, there’s not much shaded area while you are waiting in line, and you might find a spot inside the park without the shade too. If you are bringing an umbrella, be sure to check the rules and regulations first. I think they only allow small umbrellas. And don’t forget to bring a thin jacket, it may get a little breezing when the sun sets.

So it was around 4:30pm when I found a spot to sit down. Everywhere was very crowded, and of course the places with the better view are all occupied already. If you really want to get the perfect view, I guess you have to be there as soon as it opens. However, I think it is still possible to find a not-too-bad spot, you just need some time to search for it and wait for people to leave, because people are moving around and you might find a better spot by luck.

Many people bought their own food for picnic, but there were also a lot of people buying food from the food stalls. I bought my own food, so I didn’t check out the food stalls. It seems like they have a variety of choices, saw people with hot dogs, chips, pasta, corn dogs, fried noodles and more.

There isn’t much to do once  you get inside, and it is a really long wait! I had a nap, listening to my iPod and playing games. I thought I could access the Internet using my mobile; however, it was very weird that my mobile couldn’t connect to the Internet at all while I was inside the park.

There were some pre-show entertainments, but people at my area wasn’t so excited about the Aerial Show, because we didn’t really get to see the whole performance from out spot. I did see part of the Harbour of Light Parade after moving to another spot, but it would have been much exciting if they put some music on.

Both fireworks were amazing! I guess the crowd liked it especially when the fireworks came out from the Bridge. For the 9pm firework, I was standing in the middle of the road, and saw part of the Harbour Bridge and part of the firework. For the midnight firework, I was actually nearby the media area, where I believe they have the best view. However, I was a few steps far away, so I had some trees blocking part of the Bridge. I did, however, see the fireworks pretty clearly, especially through the man in front of me, who was recording it through his Iphone.

Didn’t get to take a nice photo of the Bridge or the firework, because I was so short and always surrounded by a lot of people who are so much taller than me, didn’t even have the chance to hold my camera up. Moreover, my view wasn’t the best, the trees are always blocking part of the view, so knowing I couldn’t take a photo that I would be satisfied with, I didn’t have the intention to take my camera out. To show you how amazing it was, I have to share with you the photo I got from City of Sydney’s Facebook page.

New Year's Eve Firework in Sydney

I was actually very impressed by how orderly and disciplined the crowd was, people were waiting in line patiently and I didn’t see people out of control, except some people who didn’t obey the rules, sneaking into some controlled area or trying to bring in alcohol. I was also happy with the transport arrangement after the celebration. It was a really long walk from Mrs. Macquarie’s Point to the bus stop at Hyde Park, but I managed to arrive home before 1:30am, as there were a lot of buses running. However, I think there could have been more signs to inform people; for example they didn’t have clear signs at Art Gallery Road, you might walk down to the end and find out you are in the queue for ticketed events.

If you are planning to join the New Year’s Eve celebration in Sydney next year, make sure you check their official website for some suggestions and of course, some rules and regulations. If you are really looking for the best spot and don’t mind spending the whole day out, be there as early as possible!

Best city for countdown?! New York, Hong Kong or Sydney? I would say when  you are with your friends and family, it doesn’t matter at all. Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve too!

Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2012!